Amazon has been legally called out for selling hazardous products to consumers that are mostly defected or missing vital features. Due to this reason, Amazon is facing a lawsuit by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Through a 3-1 vote, the U.S. regulator voted to file the lawsuit on Tuesday. The lawsuit seeks to force Amazon to recollect the products on the website, and to instantly contact consumers who purchased them about taking back the products and offering a full refund.
The Seattle-based e-commerce company has a legal responsibility to remove certain products off the site as they pose a serious risk of injury or death, according to CPSC.
For example, according to the U.S. regulators, the e-commerce giant offers 24,000 carbon monoxide detectors that do not work, 400,000 hair dryers lacking protective features against shock and electrocution, as well as several children pajamas that have a high possibility of catching fire.
Amazon has stated that certain actions were made with respect to some of the named products. However, the federal safety watchdog stated that the lawsuit highlights that those actions are not enough, and extreme measures need to be taken to provide consumers with full protection.
Robert Adler, CPSC’s Acting Chairman said in a statement that there is a huge need to deal with such enormous third-party platforms, as American consumers rely on these types of platforms the most for day-to-day shopping.
“Today’s vote to file an administrative complaint against Amazon was a huge step forward for this small agency,” Adler said. “But it’s a huge step across a vast desert.”
This lawsuit marks the first legal response by the CPSC made this year. In the past, the agency has called out companies for selling dangerous goods but has never took legal action.
Back in May, Peloton, an American exercise equipment company based in New York City was called out by the federal safety watchdog for selling defected treadmills that led to the death of one child and injured 70 others.
The CPSC issued a video showcasing a child playing with the turned-on treadmill, as it lifts off the ground and traps the child underneath. The agency went on to explain graphic details of other injuries occurring to children, suggesting that the defected treadmills could cause “possible harm to the user if the user loses balance as a result.”
It took three weeks for Peloton to be shamed into recalling the treadmills and refunding their customers. It is estimated that the recall costed the American company about $165 million in lost sales.
Due to the multiple failed warning in the past, combined with the lack of cooperation from companies like Pelaton and Amazon, the CPSC warns that there has been a sea of change in the agency as legal actions will be taken moving forward.